POLICY, PRACTICE AND PUBLISHING, 3PLR, LAW REPORTS
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Queen’s Bench Division
19 January 2004
 All ER (D) 113 (Jan)
 EWHC 25 (QB)
HEALTHCARE AND LAW:- Medical Malpractice – Medical advisory services and reports – Role in medical malpractice cases – Relationship between client and medical adviser – Whether one of qualified privilege – Whether communications pursuant thereto can give rise to liability for defamation against third party – Distinction between legal report based on medical and Medical Report – Right of author of a medical report to disown a legal report based on medical report for inconsistency – Implications for medical malpractice proceedings
BEFORE: Hooper J
The claimant appeared in person
The defendant appeared in person
DILYS TAUSZ Barrister
TORT AND PERSONAL INJURY – DEFAMATION: – Ingredients – Defence of qualified privilege – Communication between medical adviser and client – Whether covered – Whether a plaintiff can succeed in a suit for defamation if he is also shown to have defamed the defendant in a way that lending him the support of the court would amount to abuse of court processes – Relevant considerations
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AND LAW – INFORMATION AND COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY:- Online publications – Admissibility – Whether can found defamation or provide ground for defence to defamation – Email communications – When privileged
ETHICS – LEGAL PRACTITIONER:- Reputation of a legal practitioner – Relevance for defamation actions – When a legal practitioner’s libel action in defence of professional reputation would be deemed an abuse of court process
CHILDREN AND WOMEN LAW:- Children and Healthcare – Women in Business – Women and Justice Administration – Death of child while receiving medical treatment – Where wrong or malpractice is suspected – Need to be backed up by a medical report – Woman doctor/medical malpractice adviser – Whether communication to client is privileged and protected – Implication for justice administration
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – ACTION:– Striking of suit – When proper – Abuse of court process – How inferred – Relevant considerations
HISTORY AND SUMMARY OF FACTS
The defendant founded a website which provided a free service to patients to investigate potential complaints against the health service. B approached the defendant who suggested that the claimant had a good reputation as a barrister. She later became aware that the claimant had undergone disciplinary proceedings and had become voluntarily disbarred. As a result she sent the email warning B of what she had discovered about the claimant.
The claimant brought two sets of proceedings in defamation. In the first, the claimant alleged that the defendant falsely and malicious published the email sent to B. The defendant was of the opinion that the email had been sent in circumstances amounting to qualified privilege. In the second, the claimant said that the defamatory material had been published maliciously. The claimant meanwhile embarked on a course of harassment directed at the defendant by way of emails and accusing her of, inter alia, being a liar, a charlatan, and a blackmailer. The claimant applied to have the actions struck out under CPR 3.4 and s.8 of the Defamation Act 1996. The master struck out the actions and the claimant appealed.
The appeals would be allowed.
(1) The defendant’s defence of qualified privilege had to succeed as no reasonable jury properly directed could reach any other conclusion than that the claimant’s position was unarguable.
Having recommended the claimant to B, the defendant was entitled to rely on privilege when sending the email to B. Furthermore, no jury could properly find on the material in the instant case that the defendant did not believe what she wrote to B was true and that her dominant motive was a proper one, namely to warn B of the defendant’s concerns about the claimant, given that she had advised B in the first place to use the claimant. Accordingly the claim would be struck out.
(2) The statement of case as to malicious publication was an abuse of the court’s process.
To attack a person in the way that the claimant had attacked the defendant and then to use of the courts to seek redress for what, by comparison, was a much less serious allegation than those being made by the claimant against the defendant was such an abuse of the process of the court that the action had to be struck out.
MR JUSTICE HOOPER
- On the morning of 1 October 2003 there were three matters concerning Dr Adoko and Dr Pal listed before me. They were appeals brought by Dr Adoko in Adoko v Pal (HQ01X05190, hereinafter “190”) and Adoko v Todd and Pal (HQ01X05291 hereinafter “291”) both given the appeal number PTA 439. The appeals relate to orders made by Master Eyre on 23 May 2002, striking out Dr Adoko’s claims in the two cases. The third matter was an application for permission by Dr Adoko to appeal an order dated 9 April 2002 in 291 also made by Master Eyre. This application has been given the appeal number PTA 326.
- Dr Adoko and Dr Pal appeared. Mr Todd did not appear. As I understand it, documents sent to Mr Todd by the Court have, for some time now, been returned. In a letter dated 24 April 2002, he wrote that his “normal residence is non-UK”. In a letter dated 27 October 2002 he wrote that he would not be attending a hearing on 31 October because he was returning to his home overseas.
- On 23 March 2002 Master Eyre struck out the two claims being made by Dr Adoko. Subsequently permission to appeal was granted by Mr Justice Henriques. The matter came before me on 31 October 2002. Only Dr Adoko appeared. I allowed both appeals. The reasons for so doing will be found in a transcript of the judgment given in both appeals on that day. Set out also in the judgment is a brief history of the events leading up to the 23 May hearing before Master Eyre, in which he made the impugned orders (see judgment page 3). At that hearing no-one attended. On 7 May Master Eyre notified the defendants (in all 5 cases) that they need not attend and before the hearing Dr Adoko had stated that he did not intend to be present until the appeals were heard against the earlier orders which Master Eyre had made and which were the foundation for the strike out orders which he made on 23 May.
PTA 326 in Adoko v. Pal and Todd
- I did not deal with PTA 326 on 31 October 2002. I had not realised that there was such an application until 30 June 2003, when Dr Pal produced a useful flowchart. I also received help from the Appeals Office to understand the chronology, for which I am grateful.
- The appellant’s notice in 326 gave the case number as 291 and the defendant as Dr Pal and Mr Todd. The actual order (page 51 of the blue appeal bundle in 326) names the parties as Adoko v Pal and I set out much of the order in my judgment of 31 October. In paragraph 5 the Master ordered a hearing to follow the hearing in 190 “at which the Master will determine whether the action ought to be permitted to proceed”. In paragraph 6 it was ordered that “subject thereto, the action be stayed FORTHWITH pending further order.” A similar stay order had been made in 190 (page 14 of the blue appeal bundle in 326). This explains why some of the documents to which I refer later are described as “Draft” and have never been formally served in the proceedings, albeit that Dr Adoko had copies (as I understand it).
- As can be seen from the judgment of 31 October (page 3, lines 5-6), I proceeded on the assumption, which I now believe to be erroneous, that the application for permission to appeal that order had been refused by Forbes J. Dr Adoko, as I understood it, was telling me on 31 October that he had appeared before Forbes J to argue all five cases in which similar orders were made (see page 3 line 8-12). If the flowchart prepared for the 30 June 2002 hearing is accurate, Forbes J had dealt with the order dated 19 March in 190 and not with the order dated 9 April in 291. Looking back now at the judgement of Henriques J on 27 June 2002, I see that in the case which was wrongly called Adoko v. Powe but with the correct number 291, an application for permission to appeal the order dated 9 April was pending. Given my views as expressed in the judgment of 31 October about both orders, I grant permission to appeal, on the limited grounds that the orders in paragraphs 1-ÿ should not have been made, not for the reasons advanced by Dr Adoko, but for the reasons upon which I relied on 31 October. I return to this matter later.
30 June 2003 application to set aside orders of 31 October 2002
- Following complaints by Dr Pal that she had not had proper notice of those proceedings I heard an application by her on 30 June 2003 to set aside my decision to allow the appeals. Only Dr Pal attended.
- The court was sent a sick note for Dr Adoko, the contents of which I set out in paragraph 9 of the judgment. Dr Pal has strenuously maintained that the sick note was false and she supports that submission by reference to the contents of the note, to the capacity of the writer of the note, to evidence of what she says Dr Adoko was also doing whilst allegedly sick and to what she says is a history of false sick notes. Whilst I accept that there must be doubts about the sicknote relied upon by Dr Adoko on 30 June, I have not investigated the matter further and do not rely upon it as a basis for my decisions in this case.
- I acceded to Dr Pal’s application. The arguments will be found set out in a transcript of the proceedings of that day and my conclusion and the reasons therefore in a short judgment of that day. Although the transcript of the judgment is marked “Draft For Approval” either I have in the past approved it or I do so now.
- As paragraph 7 of the judgment shows, it became clear during the hearing that Dr Pal and I presume also Mr Todd knew nothing about the two appeals which I heard, permission to appeal having been granted by Mr Justice Henriques. Dr Adoko not being present I set aside my orders of 31 October and adjourned the hearing until 1 October.
1 October 2003 hearing
- At the hearing on 1 October 2003 Dr Pal and Dr Adoko attended but not Mr Todd.
- Neither in her written or oral submissions did Dr Pal persuade me that I should alter the conclusions which I reached on 31 October 2002 for the reasons given in the judgment of that date.
- Having indicated this to her in the course of argument, Dr Pal asked me to uphold the decision of Master Eyre, striking out the claims albeit on different grounds. She was, in effect, asking me to treat the hearing as an application by her to strike out the proceedings on the grounds which she has advanced on paper and orally before me. Dr Adoko asked me to reaffirm my conclusion of 31 October 2003.
- Bearing in mind the protracted history of this case I take the view that I should now, of my own motion or on the application of Dr Pal (although not reduced in writing to a formal application), examine the two cases to see whether, for different reasons than those given by Master Eyre, the claims should be struck out. If I were not to do that which Dr Pal asks me to do and that which I am entitled to do of my own motion, the matter would have to go back before another Master or a High Court Judge. Dr Adoko would, in my view, be in a no better position to argue the points raised by Dr Pal in the pleadings or draft pleadings or in documents attached to a letter dated 27 October 2002 at some future time than he is today. Putting it the other way, given the history of the case and the written material, I take the view that Dr Adoko is not materially prejudiced or disadvantaged by my examining the two cases to see whether the claims should be struck out. Dr Pal advanced her arguments before me on 1 October 2003 as to why the claims should be struck out and Dr Adoko responded albeit not at great length. His principal submission was that I should set aside the challenged orders and, in effect, order the proceedings to continue in the ordinary way.
CPR Rule 3.4
- C.P.R. Rule 3.4 sets out the circumstances in which a court may strike out a statement of case with the power to make any consequential order it considers appropriate. Sub-paragraph 2 provides:
“The court may strike out a statement of case if it appears to the court-
(a) that the statement of case discloses no reasonable grounds for bringing or defending the claim:
(b) that the statement of case is an abuse of the court’s process or is otherwise likely to obstruct the just disposal to proceedings; or
(c) that there has been a failure to comply with a rule, practice direction or court order.”
- Section 8 of the Defamation Act 1996 provides: for the summary disposal of a claim:
“(1) In defamation proceedings the court may dispose summarily of the plaintiffs claim in accordance with the following provisions.
(2) The court may dismiss the plaintiffs claim if it appears to the court that it has no realistic prospect of success and there is no reason why it should be tried.
(4) In considering whether a claim should be tried the court shall have regard to-
(a) whether all the persons who are or might be defendants in respect of the publication complained of are before the court;
(b) whether summary disposal of the claim against another defendant would be inappropriate;
(c) the extent to which there is a conflict of evidence;
(d) the seriousness of the alleged wrong (as regards the content of the statement and the extent of publication); and
(e) whether it is justifiable in the circumstances to proceed to a full trial.
(5) Proceedings under this section shall be heard and determined without a jury.
- Although section 10(2) provides that Rules may be made authorising the court at any stage of the proceedings to –
“(i) to treat any application, pleading or other step in the proceedings as an application for summary disposal, or
(ii) to make an order for summary disposal without any such application”
no such rules have been made, it probably being considered that the case management powers under CPR Part 3 being sufficient (Gatley on Libel and Slander, 12th Ed. 30.21).
Adoko v. Pal 190
- I start with 190. Paragraph 1 of the particulars of claim in 190 dated 9 December 2001 describes (or purports to describe) the claimant. In paragraph 2 the defendant is rightly described as a practising medical doctor. Paragraph 3 reads as follows:
“On 13 December 2001 the defendant falsely and maliciously published of and concerning the Claimant in an email to Pharmacist Neelu Berry the following words:
(i) ‘In fact you would realise that I would not send that email if I did not have reliable sources. Look at who is sabotaging your case’.
(ii) ‘I do not work with the government or the police-this is something that your own lawyer has cooked up’.
(iii) ‘In time you will see who exactly is sabotaging your case – and it’s not me. It has been done to a number of people’.”
- Paragraph 4 reads:
“The said words in their natural ordinary meaning, meant and were understood to mean:
(i) That the Claimant in his capacity as a lawyer instructed by Neelu Berry and her sister Sadhane Chaudhari to represent them in a case pertaining to the death of baby Sunania Chaudhari was sabotaging the case
(ii) That the Claimant is a liar and has told a lie that the defendant worked with the government or the police
(iii) That the Claimant, in his capacity as a lawyer, has sabotaged the cases of a number of his own clients.”
- Paragraph 5 states that in consequence the claimant has been gravely injured in his character etc.
- I turn to the defence. When the case was before me on 31 October Dr Adoko provided me with a copy of the defence which started with the words “Section 1, background and facts of the case”. That consisted of 12 paragraphs. On 27 October 2002, in connection with the application for permission to appeal being made by Dr Adoko in PTA Number 326, Dr Pal sent to the court a much fuller defence than that which had been placed before me by Dr Adoko. In addition to the 12 paragraphs there was a section 2 headed “Defence Arguments”. That consists of five paragraphs over some 6 pages. The date of the document is 22 February 2002 and contains a statement of truth. The document was served pursuant to an order of Master Rose
- In paragraph 2 of section 1 she describes herself as a practicing doctor and a writer/columnist and a human rights campaigner. She has founded and edited a website called www.nhs-exposed.com. In paragraph 3 she states that on occasions her colleagues and her are asked by patients to investigate potential or ongoing complaints against one or more branches of the Health Service. Having examined the material, independent opinion on the standard of care is, it is said, provided.
“… [T]he service is provided free of charge and, on the understanding that our findings would be fair, unbiased and firmly based on scientific evidence.”
- Dr Pal claims to have assisted a number of families thereby to obtain justice. She notes that if the families are not happy with the opinion they “cease contact” “indeed develop an antagonism towards us.”
- In the beginning of the year 2001, so paragraph 4 states, Miss Neelu Berry approached Dr Pal and her colleagues regarding the death of her niece, Sunania Chaudhuri. In paragraph 5 it is stated that it was Miss Berry’s belief that Sunania had been murdered. Paragraph 5 continues:
“Over a period of several weeks we examined approximately 2000 pages of medical notes and other documentary evidence, and carried out extensive background research.”
The paragraph goes on to state that “although there were aspects of Sunania’s care that left something to be desired” “there was no scientific evidence to support” the suspicions of murder. “The outcome of the inquest also stated natural causes.” Dr Pal describes the case as very time consuming and one of the most difficult and demanding cases she had ever done.
- Paragraph 6 refers to a long and detailed series of emails attempting to explain “our findings to Miss Berry.” ” Eventually Miss Berry appeared to accept our conclusions and asked me for advice regarding lawyers who might represent her.” Paragraph 6 continues:
“I suggested that she contacted a number of firms, and also informed her that I had heard that Dr Adoko had a good reputation as a barrister.”
She knew him, so paragraph 6 states, only by reputation and she was “unaware that he had undergone disciplinary proceedings in 1997 and had become voluntarily disbarred shortly before the result of these proceedings was implemented.”
- Paragraph 7 states that Miss Berry contacted Dr Adoko in May 2001 and that “it was decided that we should prepare a medical report for him to use as a basis for his legal report.” Dr Pal took three weeks out of work and with the help of a consultant paediatrician produced a final draft report in excess of a 100 pages.
- Paragraph 8 refers to a report prepared by Dr Adoko which, so it appears, reached conclusions different to those reached by Dr Pal, being conclusions which caused her great concern as being “scientifically incorrect”. She states that she began to fear that “our report will be distorted to support Dr Adoko’s suppositions.” In paragraph 9 she states that she felt that such distortion would be totally unacceptable. She “offered the family a compromise; I would either send the report directly to the coroner, or I would withdraw it altogether.”
- Paragraph 9 continues:
“My fears were in no way allayed when Dr Adoko began sending me harassing emails likening me to ‘Hitler, Amin, and Musolini rolled into one’, and accusing me of fraudulent concealment and perverting the course of justice by refusing to provide a copy of the report.”
- These harassing emails were copied to Miss Berry and third parties. Paragraph 9 continues:
“Dr Adoko’s harassment became so troublesome to me that I felt obliged to complain to the police, after which he agreed not to contact me again.”
- Paragraph 10 refers to hearing rumours that a Mr Donald Clifford had fired Dr Adoko “in court” and states that Mr Paul Todd made a number of concerns known to her. They related to what is described in paragraph 10 as the “substandard service that Dr Adoko offered them.” Paragraph 10 continues:
“In fact, Mr Clifford reiterated the opinions of the judge in his case which were less than favourable towards Dr Adoko. In addition Mr Todd described how he discovered that a sick note was provided to the Court of Appeal but that Dr Adoko met with Mr Clifford on the same day. In addition, these two individuals made it clear that Dr Adoko should not be representing vulnerable people. Furthermore, having seen myself how Dr Adoko completely disregarded absolute scientific facts in favour of unsubstantiated, incorrect assumptions, I felt that there might be some truth in the information I had been given. Despite the fact that I really did not wish to establish any prolonged communication with Miss Berry, I felt that as I was initially responsible for giving Dr Adoko’s name to her I had a moral obligation to inform her of this new development. In addition, as a doctor, I have a duty of care to protect the welfare of all the individuals I advise…”
Reference is then made to the Declaration of Geneva. 31. Paragraph 11 reads:
“In acting on the information I had received, my only aim was to protect Miss Berry and her family and had no malicious intent whatsoever. I was deeply saddened to find that the email I sent in good faith to Miss Berry warning her of potential problems was forwarded to Dr Adoko. I can only assume that this was done deliberately in the hope that Dr Adoko would take some action against me given his previous antagonism to my criticism of his report.”
- Paragraph 12 refers to Dr Adoko publishing a website dedicated to exposing Dr Pal. On the website Dr Pal is described as “a murderess, a beggar, a prostitute, and informer and sexually unfulfilled.” Reference is also made to Dr Adoko’s website dedicated to the dissemination of his book “The Most Corrupt British judges”.
- I turn to section 2 of the defence. Section 2 takes up the words in the particulars of claim: “in his capacity as a lawyer”. In paragraph 2 (iii) Dr Pal states that Dr Adoko is no longer “of, belonging to, or connected with” the legal profession. She then sets out what she says are the findings of a disciplinary tribunal of the council of the Inns of Court and the fact that on 14 June 2001 the Law Society had announced that no solicitor should employ Dr Adoko in connection with a practice as a solicitor except with the written permission of the Law Society. In paragraph 2 (iv) she sets out reasons why, in her view, Dr Adoko cannot be described as “competent; worthy of a professional”. She refers to a description of Dr Adoko’s arguments by Curtis J as “manifest nonsense.” She refers to the coroner in 2(iv) (b) and states that she, the coroner, “was sufficiently unimpressed with Dr Adoko to refuse him leave to represent Miss Berry” at the inquest. I return to the matter of the coroner later.
- In sub-paragraph (c) reference is made to a decision of the Master of the Rolls in 1997. Sub-paragraph (d) refers to what are said to be Dr Adoko’s results when he sought to qualify as a solicitor. In paragraph 2 (v), she states that Dr Adoko does not have a professional reputation. In paragraph (vi), it is submitted that the alleged libel could not be of any further significant detriment to Dr Adoko whose character, credit and reputation have long been the subject of public scrutiny. It is also pointed out that the publication of the alleged libellous email was only to one person, Miss Berry, who has since publicly stated her full and ongoing support for Dr Adoko. “With this in mind, and given the limited extent of the publication, it is even more difficult to see how Dr Adoko can quantify any damages whatsoever arising from the claim.”
- In paragraph 3 she states that it is her belief that the email in question was sent in circumstances amounting to qualified privilege. It was this issue of qualified privilege about which she addressed me during the course of oral argument on 1 October. She then sets out various definitions of qualified privilege. (I should add that page 8 of section 2 is missing in my copy but, as one can see, it consists of references to and citations from cases.) In 3 (vii) she states,
“In summary I believe that my communications with Miss Berry had been such that the principle of qualified privilege applies to them. That I had both a moral and professional duty to inform her of my discoveries regarding Dr Adoko.”
The email is not therefore libellous, Dr Pal states.
- In paragraph 4 she states that since Dr Adoko is asking the public to trust him with their cases he also implicitly invites queries and criticism. Paragraph 4(i) refers to the right of fair comment.
- Sub-paragraph (ii) sets out the two emails which preceded the allegedly libellous email upon which Dr Adoko relies. In the first Dr Pal writes on Wednesday December 12 2001, “You must be careful of A. I have had information from a number of sources”. In reply Neelu Berry wrote, “Re: Police Warning. Are your number of sources your colleagues? Where are your loyalties Rita? The doctors who murder patients or the police who fail to investigate it, it seems both. For your own peace of mind stop doing the dirty work for them. Try a more honourable living.” In sub-paragraph (iii) she states that, given Miss Berry had acquired the impression that she was working with the police and/or the doctors Miss Berry was accusing of murdering her niece, “it did not seems unreasonable to me in the circumstances to assume that Dr Adoko himself had suggested these concepts to her.” She therefore states that Dr Adoko’s statements were covered by section 6 of the Defamation Act 1952.
- In paragraph 5 Dr Pal refers to the importance of maintaining free speech and states, “I therefore plead my right to free speech in order to inform relatives and individuals of any dangers that I may reasonably foresee”. This is followed by reference to various authorities.
- Attached to both her defence (orange bundle page 46) and enclosed with the 27 October letter, there are copies of material on a website connected to Dr Adoko. It is clear from an examination of the text that the material was placed there by or on behalf of Dr Adoko. These pages and other pages set out in more detail that which Dr Pal described in her defence. Dr Pal is described as a murderess, a person who assists felons, who is mad, who is licentious and a beggar. It appears from paragraph (j) of a letter written by Dr Pal to Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General, that these attacks on Dr Pal were published in February 2002. Before me was also material apparently put on the web by Dr Adoko describing Dr Pal as a blackmailer, a degenerate traitor, a liar -reference is made to her barrenness, caused by “sexual over-indulgence”. Reference is made (I take only one example) to her hatred in the following words:
“The hatred of the Pal Shrew breeds Suspicions faster than maggots breeding. The Shrew is a flood burst of disaster which rushes on from all sides!”
She is described as having lost her humanity. She is a liar and she has been found to be a charlatan and that she is a blackmailer. I have only given a brief summary of this attack by Dr Adoko upon Dr Pal.
- A summary of what Dr Adoko has published about Dr Pal can be found in her “Appeal Arguments” prepared for 30 June hearing. Paragraph vi (page 13) reads as follows:
“Shortly before the 19 February 2002 hearing Dr Adoko began publishing harassing and distressing material about me on various internet discussion groups, and, subsequently, on a web site. Had his postings been merely critical of me I would have thought nothing of them. However, he apparently felt entitled to make intensely personal comments:
- a) Throughout his life, Dr Harold Shipman had a normal sex life. While a medical student, his girlfriend Primrose became pregnant with the first of their 4 children. Dr Rita Pal’s sex life has never been normal. She poses as a Pharisee. She is not like other doctors. They had sex everywhere. She does not have sex at all! Yes, it is true that this criminal, this Felon, this Rita Pal who prides herself as the Untouchable, has confessed to being a murderess.
- b) The depth of her cruelty and baseness has become unfathomable. It is impossible to say whether her treasonable venom, owe their origin to envy that she remains sexually unfulfilled, whereas her women colleagues are fulfilled. Yet the reason for men avoiding her is quite simple. Men want children. She is not capable of giving birth to children. As one woman says, “She gives birth to stool. And man cannot be expected to love her stool”.
- c) Both, the Devil, the Murderer of Souls, and Rita Pal, the Murderess of Pensioners, claimed falsely that they were some kind of saviours of their victims!
- d) The cat is out of the bag. Top medical UK doctors have diagnosed Dr Rita Pal to be suffering from psychosis, a severe mental delusional state in which she loses contact with reality. The diagnosis explains and justifies her confused scribbling which appear on her website nhs-exposed.
- e) To conclude, begging is like prostitution. It is the oldest profession on And Dr. Rita Pal is now its mistress!
- f) It all sounds very familiar. We heard it before. The Nazis trained the youth to squeal on their parents. So did the communists. Now Rita Pal the Untouchable, is following their footsteps! .. Poor her, she still roars and belches, and pisses, and fats about the benefits of whistle blowing! Benefit? To whom? To her venom!”
- On or about 12 March 2002 Dr Adoko prepared a reply, a copy of which was before me on 31 October 2002. In paragraph 2 it is said that the defamatory matter complained of was published maliciously. There is then what are said to be “instances of malice” set out in 6 paragraphs.
- The first instance is said to be Dr Pal’s statement that she was unaware that Dr Adoko had become voluntarily disbarred shortly before the result of the disciplinary proceedings. This is said to be malicious. According to Dr Adoko “I applied to be disbarred long after the [disciplinary] proceedings were completed and its decision implemented”. “After the punishment, both the Bar and the Inns of Court entered into agreements with me that I was free to practise as a barrister”.
- I turn to the second alleged instance. It is said that “it is clear from the pleading by the defendant that the cause of her anger was that I had not based my legal report on her medical report”.
- The third instance is headed “Harassing emails”. It is said that Dr Pal “claims falsely that I began to send her harassing email.” Dr Adoko then refers to a long series of emails between Dr Pal and Neelu. Berry, attacking Dr Adoko. After refusing “to become a party”, Dr Adoko states that “[a]t long last, I was forced to answer”. The paragraph reads on:
“It was clear from her email that she took it for granted that she had a licence to attack all persons but that no person had a right to attack her. I was thus obliged to tell her that she was no different from ‘Hitler, Musolini and Amin rolled into one’ who considered it to be the worst criminal offence to point out their weaknesses.”
He then refers to her later resuming “endless correspondences on the same subject matter on the internet news groups!”
- In paragraph 4 there is a complaint that Dr Pal has acted in contempt of court by publishing articles. This is said to be an instance of malice.
- Reference is then made in paragraphs 5 and 6 to complaints to the police about harassment and complaints to the Attorney General, both said to be instances of malice.
- In paragraph 3 the Claimant attacks the credibility of Dr Pal. Dr Adoko writes “the confessions of criminal offences made by the defendants on her internet website prove that she is a criminal not worthy of credit of the court. He writes, ” I also pleaded to enable me to ask the jury to recommend that her confessions be referred to the necessary authority for a necessary criminal investigation.” Examples are then given of alleged criminal offences by failing to report matters which had come to her attention. In paragraph 4 it is said that the claimant has obtained charitable funds unlawfully.
- In paragraph 4 the defendant is described as a “professional assassin of reputation of all persons.”
- Dr Adoko sets out extracts from NHS-exposed.com with attacks on the Prime Minister, Secretaries of State for Health, politicians, doctors, postgraduate Deans, hospital managers. One example from her website according to Dr Adoko is an attack upon some surgeons:
“FIVE SURGEONS WITH WHOM SHE WORKED had their reputation assassinated too. She wrote that she ‘Lived with the dreaded five surgeons who were all as obnoxious as each other. They left the loo seat up and got drunk most of the nights. Then they had the nurses over and entertained them with their anatomy, which wasn’t really that much to look at but they had FRCS! … My door was to be a place where all couples copulated”!
- In paragraph 5 he replies to the allegation that he was not practicing as a lawyer and sets out his reasons for stating that he was so doing. In paragraph 6 he seeks to defend himself as a capable lawyer with a reference to a number of cases in which he had become involved.
- Assuming, as I do for these purposes, that Dr Adoko has accurately described the contents of the website ran by Dr Pal, then one can see that she was not above using language which has similarities to that used by Dr Adoko.
Adoko v. Pal and Todd, 291
- I turn now to the claim being brought against Mr Todd and Dr Pal numbered 291 and dated 28 December 2001. In the first paragraph of the Particulars of Claim there is a description of Dr Adoko. In the second paragraph Mr Todd is described as a businessman and the second defendant as a medical practitioner. The third paragraph reads as follows:
“On or about 17 December 2001 the First Defendant falsely and maliciously published of and concerning the Claimant, to the Second Defendant, a letter which attacks the personal and professional integrity of the Claimant in many ways. He summed up the attacks thus:
Your [i.e. the claimant’s] conduct in deceiving us and in dishonestly feigning illness in an effort to procure from us funds is consistent with the view others had and have expressed to me. … Perhaps you were afraid of the Chancery Court would subject your qualifications to scrutiny as happened in the Clifford case”.
- According to paragraph 4 the said words in their natural and ordinary meaning meant and were understood to mean that the claimant was a liar, a cheat and/or a fraud, that he feigned illness in order to secure funds from the First Defendant and that the Claimant does not have the qualifications which he claims to have and that the “District Court” had heard the case of Mr Clifford and found that the claimant does not have those qualifications.
- Paragraph 5 reads:
“On 24/12/2001 and on other occasions, the Second Defendant, Dr. Rita Pal, in her turn, falsely and maliciously published of and concerning the Claimant on the Internet Newsgroup UK legal etc an attack on the personal and professional integrity of the Claimant thus:
“It may be interesting for you to note that Dr Adoko obtained a sick note from the 4th December. The sick note terminates on the 4th January 2002. Sicknote issued by Aylesbury Health Centre, Taplow Thurlow Street, London SE172UN. During this time, he apparently represented Mr Donald Clifford at the Central London Court on the 10th December 2001. He used this sick note for the Court of Appeal 4701/01 and 8211: and A3/2001/1439, A3/2001/1440, A3/2001/1441 from the information provided to me. In addition on the 18th December 2001, he issued a threat then proceedings against myself during the time he was supposedly ill. What does any lawyer conclude from all this? The claimant has issued a writ which is two pages long. This was written while he was ‘ill’ for the purposes of the courts.’”
- According to paragraph 6 the words in their natural and ordinary meaning, meant and were understood to mean that the Claimant is a liar and/or a fraud and that the Claimant feigned illness when he was not sick. Paragraph 7 alleges that in consequence the claimant has been gravely injured in his character etc. In the email which forms the basis of the claim against Mr Todd was an email which was copied to the Claimant (see page 7, lines 1 to 4 of my judgment of 31 October).
- Mr Todd has served what he describes as “a draft statement – without prejudice to the fact that Adoko has failed to seek an order for substituted service.” (See the orange bundle, page 53) The statement appears to be undated and does not contain a statement of truth. He states that Adoko agreed to represent two companies in which he was interested. “Adoko was anxious to procure support for other litigants in person whose cases he appeared to be fighting and invited those who were within his circle to exchange ideas and debate their cases. Amongst individuals Adoko invited me to freely exchange ideas with were Donald Clifford and Dr Rita Pal.” He describes first meeting Adoko and his concerns at finding him operating from a rundown property. He paid Adoko some money for legal services and provided him with a toner cartridge for his computer and paper for his computer and some paper etc. Adoko then produced a document for the Court of Appeal which seemed reasoned and lucid and Adoko asked him to attend a hearing at the High Court, which he did. Over a period of time Mr Todd said that he became more concerned as he learnt more about Adoko, which concerned him. He heard from some of the people he had claimed to represent that he had been less than honest and seemed primarily concerned to obtain from them cash and goods for legal services. According to Dr Todd, Adoko routinely breached confidences.
- At this time his company had an appeal listed where Adoko had told the company that he had the authority of the court to represent the company. The day prior to the hearing Adoko told Mr Todd that he was unwell, had been to his doctor and obtained a sick note which he had sent to the Court to inform them that he could not attend due to illness. The Court confirmed receipt of the note.
- Mr Todd then learnt that Dr Adoko had scheduled a “Case Conference” with Donald Clifford for the same time and date as “our hearing”:
“Whilst Adoko was relying on a sick note to excuse himself from attending the High Court for us and feigning the extent of an illness on the telephone to me, he was in fine form when he met Clifford and obtained more funds from him. Within seven days of the sick note Adoko was “representing” Clifford at the Central London County Court. On behalf of the company I wrote to Adoko and queried the inconsistencies. It is possible that copies of that letter and any reply received from Adoko were circulated amongst the litigants in person that Adoko freely invited to exchange information. If Dr Pal did receive a copy of the letter, then any copy which she would have received would have been strictly private and confidential, protected by privilege and justified at the invitation of Adoko.”
- Mr Todd goes on to say that Adoko told him that he only worked for cash because it was important for him to hide any assets lest the Law Society or judges pursue him for defamatory allegations he had made in a book entitled, “The most corrupt of British Judges”. Dr Adoko also routinely obtained fee exemptions for issuing writs. Mr Todd continues:
“It is apparent that Adoko is ‘a man of straw’ and that any costs I expend in defending my reputation from his latest writ (I understand that there have been many writs issued by him) will not be recovered.”
- Mr Todd then refers to cases in which Dr Adoko has been involved and comments made by judges. He states:
“The flashes of brilliance that I have seen in Adoko are punctuated by disgraceful or dishonest or incompetent conduct…”
After a reference to substituted service Mr Todd states that the proceedings are manifestly ill founded and an abuse of process of the court. He asks how Adoko’s reputation had suffered by the alleged publication by Dr Pal. He states that the answer will be none in view of the fact that Pal was already facing a libel suit from Adoko and has strong views on Adoko. Pal could not see Adoko in any way more detrimentally than she already did. He then refers to a secondary question of the value of Adoko’s reputation.
- Reference is then made to a bundle which appears to set out the history of a number of cases before the courts involving Dr Adoko. Mr Todd refers to the fact that the General Council of the Bar has seen fit to ban Dr Adoko for twelve months and the Law Society has recently acted to prevent further abuses.
- The defence continues:
“In summary Adoko invited those within his circle to discuss matters pertaining to their cases and concerns and promoted his own conduct and cases by this action and requiring attendance by those whose representation he procured at his own hearings. He routinely publishes ridiculous and defamatory allegations. His allegations extend to many of the judges at the High Court and Court of Appeal. He was subject to disciplinary proceedings by the General Council of the Bar for publishing confidential material in a complete breach of professional standards. The Law Society have become so concerned at the conduct in which Adoko is engaged that they have now published a warning to all solicitors which is referred to for its terms. Adoko has contrived to ensure that he has no assets for seizure, even avoiding Court issue fees, and meets the criteria as ‘a man of straw’”.
Again reference is made to what damage did he suffer and what reputation does Dr Adoko have.
- In so far as the Law Society is concerned I am aware of an order made by the Law Society because it featured in another case which I dealt with on 31 October and 5 November, being a claim against the Law Society and others. On 14 June 2001 following a hearing, the Law Society had ordered that no solicitor should employ Dr Adoko, except with the permission of the Law Society. According to Dr Adoko’s particulars of claim in that case (page 71 of the orange bundle) the allegation concerned a booklet relating to what was said to be “sleaze in the Great Ormonde Street Hospital” published by Dr Adoko whilst employed as a Consultant and/or Clerk by a firm of solicitors. There had also been a publication on the web of an article relating to the alleged sleaze.
- I turn to the draft defence which is dated 8 April 2002 for which there is a statement of truth signed by Dr Pal (pages 59-67 of the orange bundle). In paragraph 1 Dr Pal denies that the claim amounts to defamation or libel. In paragraph 2 she sets out as she did in the other proceedings a description of what she does. In paragraph 3 she refers to the fact as a registered doctor she is able to sign sick notes and as a psychiatrist she routinely treats individuals for stress. Paragraph 4 reads:
“This is the second of two libel cases that Dr Adoko has brought against me. Dr Adoko has been harassing another or me in one form since May 200 1. This harassment has taken the form of emails sent directly to me and attacks through the internet via Ms Neelu Berry. These episode appear to be a result of his anger towards me. I can only assume that the source of this anger is that I have questioned his misleading report in the case of Sunaina Chaudhuri, the legality of his law and immigration practices, and, subsequently, his integrity. ”
- In paragraph 5 she said that she felt obliged to argue these matters in the public domain because she had provided his name as a free human rights lawyer to a vulnerable family and subsequently regretted it. He has since persuaded the family that I am part of the conspiracy, that I work for the police and that I breached their confidentiality in sending a report we had written to the Coroner. She says that none of these accusations are true and “this family has subsequently assisted his efforts against me, which stem from my initial emails pointing out the scientific flaws in his [Dr Adokos’s] report.” Paragraph 6 reads:
“Dr Adoko’s rage and malice towards me seemed to grow the more I questioned him at this point and I had no idea of the events in Adoko v Jemal. I did not know the extent of his malice towards all who criticised or questioned him. His actions have been strategically executed to harass and distress me. Following the first email described in Adoko v Pal, Dr Adoko continued his crusade to discredit me, as I understand he has attempted to do to many judges in his book … Prior to the hearing with Master Rose, I was subjected to internet postings every day for approximately two weeks which called me a ‘Devil, prostitute and a mad woman’ in the public domain. This was circulated to many Usenet groups, with a potential readership of many thousands of people. I was extremely distressed by these remarks. Finally, he set up internet web site www.ritapal.batcave.net. containing a great deal of similar material. After bringing this material to the attention of the owners of batcave.net they agreed that the content was harassing and defamatory and removed the pages at once. Within hours the offending content had been relocated to www.sunaina.batcave.net. and was once again available for all the public to read. Again batcave.net were swift to remove the offending pages. However, Dr Adoko does not appear to have been deterred from is harassment; the material is currently available to the public on www.drpal.human-rights.org”
- In paragraph 7 she states that Dr Adoko is bankrupt. Under the heading, “FACTS OF THE CASE” she sets out how she came to know Dr Adoko and makes a reference to the defence in Adoko v Pal (190). She refers in the fourth paragraph of releasing to Dr Adoko with Mr Todd’s consent Mr Todd’s email. She states that after June 2001 she had been in contact with Mr Todd and informed him as Dr Adoko’s client he should be aware of matters and the harassment that she had endured. She asked Mr Todd to inform her of any problems with representation. “I felt it was my duty to inform Mr Todd of my dealings with Dr Adoko as Dr Adoko was representing MR Todd’s friend, Mr Clifford, and also various companies with which Mr Todd was associated. These people I felt were vulnerable.”
- Paragraph 14 reads:
“Mr Todd know that I had been concerned as to the standard of representation by Dr Adoko and indeed he was aware of Ms Neelu Berry and her case. For this reason only, he felt it was his moral duty to copy all correspondences to me as I had asked him to do, in order to protect the vulnerable relatives who were currently being represented by Dr Adoko. We had a common interest and thus as a matter of qualified privilege he informed me of his opinions relating to Dr Adoko. It is my opinion that he would be failing in his moral duty had he not informed me of such matters.”
- In paragraph 15 she refers to receiving a fax on 22 December 2002 (this must mean 2001) containing a sick note written for Dr Adoko. The sick note said that Dr Adoko should refrain from work and the diagnosis was “stress”. In paragraph 16 she refers to her professional knowledge about stress. In paragraph 17 she summarises paragraph 5 of the claim, namely that which had been published by Dr Pal on the internet. In paragraph 17 (a) to (f) she in effect confirms the accuracy of the “facts”, of which complaint by Dr Adoko is made. In paragraph (g) she wrote that “her posting” merely questioned how a lawyer who is suffering from stress could sue four people single-handedly. As to the sick note she, says it was used in the Court of Appeal “it is of interest to the courts and the public to question the validity of the sick note in the light of the events surrounding it.”
- In paragraph 18 she denies saying that the claimant was a liar or a fraud or that the claimant feigned illness. In paragraph 18(c) she writes: “The reasonable man would have cause to question Dr Adoko’s illness given” that he issued four claim forms in the space of two weeks and this was not the behaviour of someone who needs to be off work sick. He continued using Ms Berry to dictate harassing material during this time through the internet and Dr Adoko had met with Donald Clifford on the day that was due to represent Mr Todd for the appeal.
- In paragraph 19 Dr Pal denies the ordinary and natural meaning alleged.
In paragraph 20 she refers to Article 10 of the Human Rights Act. She then goes on to question the value of Dr Adoko’s character as she had done in the proceedings Adoko v Pal. After setting out what she says is the history of Dr Adoko in Uganda and his involvement in government there, she goes on in paragraph 28 to say that she has no evidence of Dr Adoko’s PHD and no evidence that he ever undertook pupillage training, that the Inner Temple found Dr Adoko guilty of misconduct in 1997, that Dr Adoko continues to hold himself out as a barrister thus misleading the public, that he holds himself out as solicitor despite an order by the Law Society, that he was made bankrupt in the case of Adoko v Jemal. In paragraph 35 she states that Dr Adoko assures courts that he is entitled to give “free immigration assistance”, notwithstanding, according to her, that he is not. She goes on to refer to the fact that what she wrote was done honestly and without malice. She refers to fair comment, Article 6 and states that it is extremely unlikely that any further damage can be caused to his reputation. She states that this case has been construed out of malice and revenge. She has been persistently threatened with legal action and he has used the internet to harass, attack and use abusive language to psychologically cripple her. She concludes, “my opinion is that Dr Adoko should not be allowed to represent vulnerable people and patients who regularly come through us at www.nhs-exposed.com in UK. He should not be allowed to mislead the public and bring the profession of the Bar into disrepute. Dr Adoko seems to be allowed to criticise judges, solicitors and doctors but yet take legal action at the slightest comment about him.”
- In her skeleton argument for 1 October Dr Pal referred to the sick note to which I make reference in my judgment of June 30. She states that it was signed by a “Homeopathic Gynaecologist based in East Sussex, rather a GP”. There is also reference to a finding by a Lord Justice said to have come independently conclusions similar to those about which Dr Adoko complains. She submitted in oral argument that in so far as Adoko v Pal and Todd is concerned a defence of justification would inevitably succeed.
Further representations by Dr Pal
- In the document prepared for hearing of 30 June from page 25 onwards may be found an account of a number of cases in which Dr Adoko has been involved. A series of those cases relates to Dr Adoko’s attempt to challenge a decision of the West Midlands Police not to investigate or further investigate a complaint made by Dr Adoko to the police that Dr Pal had committed a number of murders.
- She gives another example of what she says is Dr Adoko’s harassment. A journalist for the Sunday Mercury Reporter in Sutton Coalfield had been informed that Dr Adoko had attempted to “tip them off’ to the story of a local doctor who has murdered many elderly patients. In the words of Dr Pal, “it seems that Dr Adoko’s ingenuity in finding new ways to punish me for scorning his baseless theories in the Sunaina case is virtually unlimited”. She sets out a letter which she received from the reporter (Appeal Arguments for 30 June, page 27).
- Reference is also made (page 25) to the fact that Dr Adoko has approached the General Medical Council with allegations that she has murdered or has been an accomplice in the murder of numerous elderly patients. These complaints were rejected. Dr Adoko appealed and the appeal was rejected. Reference is then made to the complaint to the West Midlands Police to which I have already made reference.
- Dr Pal herself is not above using language which might be described as intemperate. She refers to the fact that Dr Adoko was dubbed Obote’s murder squad leader by the Ugandan media (page 29).
- AS to the matter of the coroner, Dr Pal quotes a passage from a judgment of Sedley L.J. who had before him an appeal from a refusal by Mr Justice Elias on 10 September 2001 to grant permission to Miss Berry to apply for judicial review into the way into the way in which the Walthamstow Coroner’s Court handled the inquest into the death of Sunaina Chaudhari  EWCA Civ 495. Sedley L.J. stated that the coroner was being criticised for having refused to hear Dr Adoko at the inquest. Sedley L.J. said that the power to hear an unqualified advocate is entirely within the coroner’s discretion and he could see no ground for criticising her decision not to exercise it in Dr Adoko’s favour. He went on: “indeed having seen the booklet that he has written about the case I can see every reason why she was right to take the attitude she did”. Sedley L.J. went on to say that the death of the child was a desperate tragedy for any family, “it is not helped in this case by the attempt to construct a conspiracy, indeed a conspiracy to murder, out of nothing”.
- Dr Pal also makes a number of procedural points to which it is not necessary for me to refer. Dr Pal then cites a case of Goldsmith v Sperrings  1 WR 478 at 499. She submits that having regard to his actions in publishing obscene accusations about her, complained to the General Medical Council about her, attempting to force the police to investigate her in complaints that they have already dismissed and attempting to expose her to public vilification through the press “all point very strongly towards his having an ulterior motive in bringing these cases against me”.
Dr Adoko’s written submissions for 1 October 2003
- I turn to a document dated 30 September 2003 which Dr Adoko relied upon at the hearing of 1 October. In paragraph 4 Dr Adoko states, in part:
“She can plead, what she calls, her harassment by me, by way of a libel case against me, or by way of a counter claim in these cases or by way of mitigation. Indeed, it is in the public interest for the British jury to decide whether she is a murderess and a perjurer, as I hold and maintain she is, or not. I have no doubt that if she brought a libel suit on her crimes, then she will meet with the Oscar Wilde fate. One thing can be affirmed about the British jury. It is the most incorruptible institution in the world.” (Underlining added)
- After dealing with a number of procedural points relating to the issues with which I dealt with on 31 October 2002 Dr Adoko writes in paragraph 11:
“Wednesbury Unreasonableness: On the one hand Dr Rita Pal has submitted to the court that there is a bitter dispute between her and me. The nature of her pleadings, submissions and correspondences to the court show that I have maliciously and seriously defamed her. And that she is only obliged to defend herself by way of attacks. In law, she is appealing to the court to exercise its function to determine a dispute between the parties. Yet, on the other hand she is applying to the court not to hear the dispute on its merit? Her conduct thus falls within the Wednesbury Unreasonableness.”
- In the last paragraph he says that it would be futile to make any order striking out his claim. He says the defendant’s have continued to repeat the defamatory statements in the internet use groups and:
“I have not brought new cases because the repeated libels will be used to plead aggravation of damages. However, had these cases been struck out, I would have immediately brought new libel cases based on the essence of the pleaded libel. Hence, the court order striking out the cases would be futile.”
- I have set out the various pleadings or draft pleadings in this judgment at some length. My conclusions can be stated much more shortly.
- As far as 190 is concerned, Dr Pal is, in my view, right in her submissions that her defence of qualified privilege must succeed- no reasonable jury properly directed could reach any other conclusion and the claimant’s position is unarguable. Having recommended Dr Adoko to Miss Berry (paragraph 25 above), Dr Pal is entitled to rely on the privilege when sending the email to Miss Berry of which complaint is made (see for example the reference to moral obligation/moral and professional duty in paragraphs 30 and 35 above). Dr Adoko replies that the email was published maliciously and gives instances of what he claims to be malice in six paragraphs (paragraph 41 above), all of which are assertions about the defendant’s state of mind relying upon inferences from her alleged state of mind and, in some of the instances, from things which she has alleged to have done, e.g. complaints made by her (and, for these purposes, I shall assume she has done those things).
- Applying the principles laid down by Lord Diplock in Horrocks v. Lowe  AC 135 (HL) and by the Court of Appeal in Alexander v. Arts Council of Wales  EWCA Civ. 514, the burden of proving malice, an allegation of which is very serious and generally tantamount to dishonesty, is upon the claimant. No jury could, in my view, properly find on the material in this case that the defendant did not believe what she wrote to Miss Berry was true and that her dominant motive was a proper one, namely to warn Miss Berry of the defendant’s concerns about Dr Adoko, given that she had advised Miss Berry in the first place to use Dr Adoko. For this reason I strike out the claim in 190.
- I further strike out both 190 and 291 in so far as Dr Pal is concerned because the statement of case is an abuse of the court’s process. Dr Adoko accepts (paragraph 44) that prior to 13 December the date of the first of the two alleged defamatory statements, he had already sent Dr Adoko emails describing Dr Pal as like “Hitler, Amin and Musolini rolled into one”. Dr Pal describes the emails, copied to Miss Berry and others, understandably, as “harassing” “so troublesome” that she reported the matter to the police (paragraph 29). Thereafter he has vilified Dr Pal (se e.g. paragraphs 39, 40, 47,48, 65) as well as harassed her in other respects (see e.g. paragraphs 73 and 74). It is now clear that his aim in bringing these proceedings is to enable a “British jury to decide whether she is a murderess and a perjurer, as I hold and maintain she is, or not” (paragraph 78). To attack a person in the way that Dr Adoko has attacked Dr Pal and then use the courts to seek redress for what, by comparison, is a much less serious allegation than those being made by Dr Adoko against Dr Pal is, in my view, such an abuse of the process of the court on the facts of this case that the actions must be struck out. The fact that Dr Pal has used language about Dr Adoko which may well also be intemperate does not alter my conclusion.
- For these reasons both actions are struck out in so far as Dr Pal is concerned. In these circumstances, I do not need to deal with PTA 326 in so far as Dr Pal is concerned- it is no longer necessary to consider the appeal against the order of 9 April, given that I have now ordered the striking out of the action.
- I did not ask Dr Adoko to address me about 291 in so far as Mr Todd is concerned. Should Dr Adoko continue with that action, then it may be that a court will strike that claim out also. As far as PTA 326 is concerned and Mr Todd, I would allow the appeal of Dr Adoko. The orders made by the Master on that date will be set aside as well as the order of 23 May 2002 for the reasons set out in my judgment of 31 October 2002. In exercise of my case management powers, I direct that if Dr Adoko wishes to continue with his action against Mr Todd, he must make an application for a hearing before a Master (to be heard by a Master other than Master Eyre) by no later than 20 February, setting out in the application what orders he seeks, notice of the hearing to be given to Mr Todd. In default of making such an application, the action against Mr Todd will be struck out. Dr Adoko has liberty to make an application to me before 20 February should he wish to contest this order in so far as it affects his action against Mr Todd.
- Having made it clear that neither Dr Adoko nor Dr Pal need attend when this judgment is handed down, I make the following further order. If Dr Adoko or Dr Pal wishes to make any application in respect of this judgment and the consequential orders, then a letter outlining the substance of the application must be sent to the High Court Appeals Office with a copy to the other party by no later than 30 January. The Office will then set a date for the hearing of any application.